Boris Johnson is a little devil, but he is the devil we know - for those seeking his defenestration, be careful what you wish for, says Mark Dolan
Bojo’s got his Mojo, so no, he mustn't go.
The knives are out for Boris Johnson, with influential figures on the Tory backbenchers like Mark Harper former chief whip, calling for him to go. The same from the arch Brexiteer and one of the most articulate members of the House of Commons, Steve Baker.
These are premium, top grade politicians, who have been courageous in their criticism of the government Covid measures, particularly those ruinous and anti-scientific lockdowns, that have caused the devastating cost of living crisis.
These gents, along with a hundred or so lockdown sceptic Tory MPs, are on the right side of history. They had a commitment to their libertarian and conservative values that I wish Boris had shown himself. There is no point having principles, if you don’t lead by them. I was horrified to read in the mail on Sunday this January
That Boris Johnson was about to cancel Christmas in mid December, only to be talked out of it by the holy trinity of Jacob Rees-Mogg, Rishi Sunak and Lord Frost, the world’s least appealing boyband. But they sang the right tune, in pushing to keep the country open last winter. Theirs was One Direction, the right direction. Take That, Boris.
A Steve Baker or Mark Harper in Number 10 – we can but dream - would have listened to a wider breath of scientific advice – they said as much at the time – and would have had the courage to ignore the profits of doom at SAGE, and that junk modelling, to strike a better balance between the pursuit of public health and the interests of the economy, which of course pays for our collective well-being.
They would not have locked up healthy people on and off for almost two years, with all of the tragic consequences that brought. So things are far from perfect in the court of King Boris, but I’m not convinced now is the time to call for his head.
There is an old pearl of wisdom that says you should never leave a job, unless you've got a new one to go to. And I don't think we should pull the trigger on Boris and chuck him out, in the absence of a convincing alternative candidate.
For me that would've been Rishi Sunak, a Brexiteer, a reported lockdown sceptic, a self-made man and a teetotal workaholic with family values and someone who would be our first Asian PM, another great milestone in the history of this country.
Sunak reportedly pushed back on many of the government's worst excesses, in relation to Covid measures. There are rumours he threatened to resign if Boris cancelled Christmas last year, as per that Mail On Sunday story.
But with Sunak effectively out of the race due to his wife’s tax affairs, which make even Jimmy Carr look honest and upstanding, you're looking at these options for the top job: Liz Truss
In Liz we trust.
Pretty Patel, pretty good option.
What about this Hunt? Jez we can.
There’s Tom Tugendhat, easy for you to say.
Penny Mordaunt – give us a Penny for your thoughts – I want to be PM…
By Jove, not Gove
Last but not least Sajid Javid - You’re Javid a laugh, aren’t you?
Now they are all decent politicians, but none of them jump off the page do they, or get the pulse racing. It's my view that in the absence of a strong candidate, i.e. Rishi Sunak, Boris must stay. And notwithstanding my criticism of the PM, Boris is going the right way about proving me wrong.
Firstly he has got a grip of the channel migrant crisis, which I consider to be a humanitarian disaster and an evil, exploitative business model run by gangsters, that must be smashed. Costly and logistically hard though it is, the whole point about the Rwanda plan is that it's designed to be a disincentive.
These appalling human traffickers, who have blood on their hands, will not be able to lie to their victims now, extorting thousands of quid from them, with a promise that they will get to Dover. Boris has shown a pair of balls in relation to extreme trans ideology, one which denies the fundamental idea of biological sex – by correctly defining what a woman is.
He spoke on this with authority – and if there's anyone with an intimate understanding of the female anatomy, it's gonna be old Bojo. Better than Keir Starmer who can’t define a woman and who has neither a cervix nor a backbone.
Boris Johnson famously got Brexit done, and the signs are that he is taking advantage of our independence to get trade deals across the line, this week cajoling the Indian prime minister, who runs one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, boasting a population of a billion people, to sign on the dotted line and to back Global Britain.
We are already trade deals agogo, with many more to come. And I read with pleasure in today's Mail that the prime minister is considering tearing up article 16, which places an invisible border town of the Irish Sea AND Disgracefully divides our country.
He is also clearly keen to reintroduce some rules of fiscal prudence and to stop printing money, as proved by the tough love budget the Chancellor delivered in March, signed off by his office. Siren calls for more government investment, which you and I know means borrowing and living beyond our means, will simply further fuel inflation via the printing of yet more money and make it harder for working Brits to get by.
And Boris has smashed it in relation to Ukraine offering colossal support to Zelenskyy and the good people of that war-torn country. So much so that Boris has been hailed as a hero by Zelenskyy himself, and cut an almost Churchillian, as he patrolled the streets of Kyiv.
Plus we used our Brexit advantage to do our own thing when it came to vaccines, stealing a march on EU nations like France and Germany by upwards of four months. So why are Labour so keen to see the back of Boris? Because he remains a colossal electoral threat.
If we've learnt one thing about this election winning machine, a man who won twice in Labour dominated London, won the Brexit vote and achieved the biggest Tory victory since the 80s, you underestimate this man at your peril.
Now is no time for a political beauty contest and if Boris gets his house in order, presiding over a more disciplined number 10 operation, and one that runs on energy and hard work, rather than Pinot Grigio and Jacobs Creek, not only can he see out this crisis, but he can return a solid majority in two or three years’ time. Or even a snap election in 2023. Watch this space.
Boris is far from perfect, as the hypocritical debacle of partygate demonstrated. But it’s a sideshow. For me it was the profoundly damaging and in my view failed Covid measures, which were the sackable offence, and for which we are now paying a societal and economic price.
Not to mention damaged kids and a broken NHS with a waiting list as long as your arm. But the likes of Starmer signed up for the same, if not more.
Remember he called Freedom Day on the 19th July and asked for evidence in keeping the country open over Christmas, even though it was clear Omicron was a variant milder than a night out with the cast of Last Of The Summer Wine.
Boris is a little devil, we all know that. But he is the devil we know. For those seeking his defenestration, be careful what you wish for. Bojo’s got his Mojo, so no, he mustn't go.